Celebrating Storytelling Culture

Sukdu (stories) are used by the Dena'ina People for many reasons

Sukdu is Dena’ina for story. The Dena’ina used the sukdu to teach their young about their culture.  For example, many sukdus are moral tales that teach young people what it was to be Dena’ina.  The stories passed down through the generations instill in their plot-lines many lessons.  Sukdus teach how to behave properly, how to treat animals and nature respectfully, how to survive difficult situations, and importantly, tell universal truths that apply to all people

Storytelling was (and is still) communal

Storytelling in Dena’ina culture was usually done as a community. While some stories were personal, most of the stories were shared by all of the village. The stories were meant to be dynamic, and there were various versions told by different people. It was not considered rude for another adult to interrupt the main storyteller and add something they felt should be included. After the brief interruption, the main storyteller would go on telling the rest of the story.

Sukdus brought power

Young men who were considered potential leaders were encouraged to travel to other Dena’ina communities to learn more stories to help them be wiser and stronger leaders.

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